Doug: Draft excitement
I loved being at Goldies on Saturday. It was great to be in the element I love: running a draft show on location.
In 2005, I was running a draft show in Kansas City. The Chiefs desperately needed a LB. The Carolina Panthers were on the clock at pick 14. Derrick Johnson out of Texas was still on the board. Chief fans have never cheered louder for any words said by Paul Tagliabue: "With the 14th pick...Panthers select Thomas Davis." Chief fans knew they had their guy and the organization obliged.
It was a very similar feeling Saturday afternoon. Kenny Britt will be the Thomas Davis of this draft to me. The noise that was made by Cardinal fans when the Titans picked Britt was great. Cardinal fans knew they had their guy and the organization obliged.
I think the Cardinals had a good draft (if you compare it to the Raiders draft, I think every Cardinals selection will be HOF worthy). I question Beanie's toughness and heart just like everyone else. I would have still drafted him with the 31st pick in the draft if I needed a RB though.
I loved the Cody Brown pick. I found it amazing that "Scouts Inc." had him rated as the 62nd best player in the draft and the Cards got him with the 63rd pick. I don't really know if that makes this a value pick but I like it because of Bertrand Berry. Berry is all-class, all-professional, and all-knowing. Brown will be asked to one thing in the beginning, knock the QB down. Berry can teach him moves, the defense, how to watch film to pick up tendencies, and how to be an NFL professional. Eventually, Brown will learn to improve on run defense and keep his motor running for a whole game...right about the time Berry hangs it up.
Rashad Johnson is the definition of leadership. At Alabama, it is serious business to be a team captain. They actually imprint your hand into cement in front of the landmark bell tower at the center of campus. It's like a football walk-of-fame. Johnson went from being a walk-on to being only the 2nd person in the history of Alabama football to have two sets immortalized of hand prints (and no, it wasn't Namath or Stabler). There is a character issue here. He did hit a security guard at a Tuscaloosa bar but those charges will probably be dropped.
Gregory Toler is the reason why I'm not giving the team an "A." Obviously, the fact that I've never seen him play hurts my ability to judge him but please don't waste my time with the DRC comparisons. DRC went to the senior bowl and had a knock-out performance during the game and the week at practice leading up to the game. He didn't come out of nowhere. Toler went to a college that didn't have a football team his freshman year (they were a club team preparing to be varsity). If the Cardinals stole one here, great pick. I like the CB Victor Harris who was still on the board here so I'll be comparing the careers of these two players to see which one of us got the pick right.
I can't believe the Herman Johnson pick. What a steal! Obviously every time you talk about this guy someone will talk about his birth weight size versus every player in the history of LSU. I'm not going to get into that because every media member is going to act like they're brilliant when they bring it up and you'll get tired of hearing it. Just know this, the Cardinals got an OL who will be starting in two years with a 5th-round pick.
Will Davis adds depth. I think this was also a special teams pick because Davis is a good tackler in the open field. Most mock drafts I saw had him going in the 5th round so there's some value here too.
LaRod Stephens-Howling is going to struggle to make the team. He could be a great gunner on punt coverage. He's quick but small. He's not strong enough to be a third down RB. Maybe he could stick in the "change-of-pace" RB mode but it's all about special teams for him. If he doens't stick there, we won't be finding out about his skills running with the football.
I think there were some teams frustrated when the Cards took Trevor Canfield off the board. He's the perfect type to be an undrafted free agent. He would have had a ton of offers to sign with one of the 32 teams if he wasn't drafted. He's a "do-whatever-it-takes" guy so I love him but he doesn't handle speed very well. The speed of an NFL DT will be a complete shock to him and that adjustment will determine if he's still around in 3 years.